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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 943853, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/943853
Research Article

Coapplication of Chicken Litter Biochar and Urea Only to Improve Nutrients Use Efficiency and Yield of Oryza sativa L. Cultivation on a Tropical Acid Soil

1Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Bintulu Campus, 97008 Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Agriculture and Environment, Borneo Eco-Science Research Center, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Bintulu Sarawak Campus, 97008 Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
3Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Basic Science and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Bintulu Campus, 97008 Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia

Received 1 March 2015; Revised 18 June 2015; Accepted 25 June 2015

Academic Editor: Zhenli He

Copyright © 2015 Ali Maru et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The excessive use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers in sustaining high rice yields due to N dynamics in tropical acid soils not only is economically unsustainable but also causes environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to coapply biochar and urea to improve soil chemical properties and productivity of rice. Biochar (5 t ha−1) and different rates of urea (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% of recommended N application) were evaluated in both pot and field trials. Selected soil chemical properties, rice plants growth variables, nutrient use efficiency, and yield were determined using standard procedures. Coapplication of biochar with 100% and 75% urea recommendation rates significantly increased nutrients availability (especially P and K) and their use efficiency in both pot and field trials. These treatments also significantly increased rice growth variables and grain yield. Coapplication of biochar and urea application at 75% of the recommended rate can be used to improve soil chemical properties and productivity and reduce urea use by 25%.